Whether you’re looking to add some flair with color or simply trying to brighten up a room, LED lights are one of the best lighting options on the market today. They’re quick to install and work for any budget, and, with plenty of options out there, you’re bound to find lights that suit your style.
We’re here to walk you through some of the different types of LED light bulbs and strips to help you decide on the best solution for your room, along with ideas and inspiration for using LED lights throughout your home.
LED Light Bulbs
Pros of Using LED Light Bulbs
One of the biggest reasons people switch from traditional to LED light bulbs is their energy efficiency. Many of us are looking to make small changes to our daily lives to help our planet, and LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
In addition, most LEDs are manufactured without mercury, which means they’re not as harmful to the environment when you’re disposing of them. But you probably won’t have to worry about that for a while—these bulbs last two to three times longer than traditional bulbs.
If you’re looking for even more bells and whistles, check out smart LED light bulbs. These bulbs can be controlled from an app on your phone and have timers set to turn on and off. So if you remember halfway through your commute that you’ve left the living room lamp on, you can easily turn it off with a tap on your phone.
Cons of Using LED Light Bulbs
While LED light bulbs are undoubtedly better for the environment, they do cost slightly more than a traditional bulb (around $6 compared to a $2 incandescent bulb). If you’re planning to make the switch but are on a budget, try changing out a traditional for an LED bulb each time you need to replace one. That way, the cost is spread out over time, rather than a one-time expense of updating your entire house.
Another con of LEDs is that, despite all of their technological advances, they still don’t work particularly well with dimmable lights. There are some bulbs with dimmer functions, but you’ll notice the light levels aren’t as high as with a traditional bulb.
LED Light Strips
Pros of Using LED Light Strips
When you’re looking to light an area that doesn’t have the space for a lamp or overhead light, LED light strips can come in handy. These flexible strips with embedded LED lights can often be cut to the right size for the area you’re brightening, come in a range of fun colors, and usually have an adhesive backing so you can easily peel and stick the lights to any surface.
Some LED light strips run off a battery, while others require a nearby outlet for power. Either way, they’re a great way to add some ambiance to a room or decorate any area that doesn’t work with traditional lights. And like bulbs, LED light strips are cheap to buy and run, with long-lasting power and brightness. They’re easy to install and completely customizable.
Cons of Using LED Light Strips
One of the biggest downsides to LED strips over bulbs is the difficulty in replacing a single bulb. If one goes but the rest of the strip still works, changing out that small section can be almost impossible, depending on the type of strip that you buy.
The other consideration to keep in mind with LED light strips is that they’re usually not as bright as LED light bulbs. Since the bulbs on a strip are much smaller, they don’t always produce enough light to function as your main light source. Instead, you may opt to use the light strip as decoration.
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How to Use LED Lights In Your Home
LED lights can be used throughout your bedroom, both as your main light source and for ambiance. If your bed has a headboard, you can stick LED strips on the back to create a beautiful back-lit effect for the focal point of the room. This works particularly well if you have a high headboard that really stands out.
Around your mirror is another fun way to use LED strips in a bedroom. Whether you’re setting up a small vanity mirror or going for a full-length option, sticking lights behind the mirror frame will make you feel like a movie star every time you get ready!
We all spend so much time at our desks and on computers that eye strain can be a real problem. Using LED light strips along the back of your monitor can alleviate some of this pressure on your vision by offsetting the brightness of your screen.
LEDs can also help you save space. Instead of making room for a floor or table lamp, use strips along the bottom of shelves, around your screens, or along the back of your desk to provide clutter-free light.
Just like with a computer screen, LED strip lights behind your TV can balance out the brightness and add a beautiful effect to your living room. When you’re watching a movie, turn off the main lights, but keep your LEDs on for a subtle glow.
Shelving is also an excellent place to add peel-and-stick LED strip lights. Show off your favorite books, artwork, or collectibles by illuminating them with remote-controlled lights.
Adding LED lights underneath your cabinets can give you task-oriented lighting to help you see better when you’re prepping your next meal. They’re ideal for small spaces, too, without the glare from an overhead light.
Lights with adhesive backs are easy to remove if you’re renting and can’t make permanent changes. Inside drawers or the pantry is another useful place to stick some LED lights, particularly motion-activated ones. Never worry about leaving a cupboard or closet light on again!
Underneath your sink rim is a great spot for LED light strips. Keep them switched on overnight as a dim light for those middle-of-the-night bathroom visits or to give you some mood lighting as you relax in the tub after a long day.
If you do add LED lights to the bathroom, look for waterproof options to avoid any hazards. Battery-operated LEDs are a safer option, and the battery pack can easily be hidden away under the counter with some velcro attachments.
Does your house have its own game room? Light up your space with colorful LEDs around your computer monitor or game stations like pool tables.
Since this is designed to be a fun space, let your creativity run wild with colored lights around the room. You could even install changeable lights that allow you to set different colors to match the game you’re playing or the mood you’re in!
Porches and Decks
These days, there are plenty of LED light options that are built specifically for use in outdoor spaces. That means they’ll stand up to rain, snow, hot summer temperatures, and all the dirt and dust that comes from being outdoors.
Use lights to brighten up your railings to create a welcoming and cozy environment, or hang them from umbrellas or under the roof edges for a year-round fairy light effect. LEDs can also work well as decor for your patio furniture or to light up pathways to make your next gathering more atmospheric.
Brighten Up Your Home With LEDs
No matter how big or small your space, LED lights are an ideal way to add some extra lighting and show off your personality throughout your home. You’ll feel good knowing the bulbs you’re using have a smaller environmental impact than traditional bulbs, and you can really enhance the look and feel of your rooms in unique and expressive ways. Have fun!
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